Tropical Cinémathèque: The Miami Film Scene

cinematheque |ˈsinəməˌtek| noun

1) a motion-picture library or archive.

2) a small movie theater, esp. one that shows avant-garde or classic movies.

ORIGIN 1960s: from French cinémathèque, from cinéma ‘cinema,’ on the pattern of bibliothèque ‘library.’

A budding community of cinematheques and film collections are adding a new layer of depth to Miami’s cultural renaissance.


Recent initiatives like the Borscht Film Festival and the proliferation of new and renovated cinematheques have helped pique local interest in film. This past year in particular, the film industry has taken a foothold in the area.

The Wynwood Free Trade Zone on 2nd NW 5th Ave, which has been transformed into a fully-operational film studio, as well as the production studios located in neighboring Park West, have drawn a whole new breed of artists who support and contribute to the city’s reawakening.

Miami Beach Cinematheque

The Miami Beach Cinematheque, home to The Miami Beach Film Society, is the first certified “green” interior in Miami Beach, meeting LEED standards for energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction. The cinematheque has been fully-restored and includes a fully renovated screening room, a gallery, bookstore, library and cafe.

Through September 30th, the cinema is exhibiting, “FILMELEMENTS” by Vladimir Banjanac: MBC Photography. The pieces in the exhibit are representation of flowers created on film, by hand, with organic elements. According to the artist, Vladimir Banianc, the images are “combined in a way that, to me, felt like opening one of the last, even if sidetracked, frontiers in film/darkroom/analogue photography, which soon began subsiding to the new, digital photographic technology.” General admission to the the exhibit is free, donations welcomed.

The Miami Beach Cinematheque has been working with the Environmental Coalition of Miami and the Beaches,  ECOMB, on a monthly film series, Cinema Green, promoting local sustainable efforts towards an environmentally conscious society.  This October, in partnership with the Society of Environmental Journalist, the Miami Beach Cinematheque and ECOMB present the first annual South Florida Environmental Film Festival.

Cosford Cinema

Cosford Cinema, in The University of Miami, provides educational and cultural resources, such as lectures from renowned actors and directors, that extend beyond the university to the entire community. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, the Cosford Cinema offers screenings and previews of contemporary, classic and international films in classic wide screen format.

O Cinema

O Cinema, a Wynwood Arts District’s independent cinema, is considered a home for local art for providing  the community with a temple for visual arts appreciation via first-run independent, foreign, and niche films.

O Cinema was founded with a Matching Grant from the Knight Foundation.  Each dollar you donate to O Cinema is matched by the Knight Foundation.

On September 10th, they will be unveiling, Ball of Love, a multi-media video filmed entirely on an iPhone. As a part of an interactive experience, in addition to watching the film, you will be able to explore the artifacts, participate in the live twitter feed, and enter your photo in the Ball of Love wall piece. For those who prefer a more tactile medium, there will be a coloring book for you to Crayola your way between the lines of the Ball of Love.

Coral Gables Cinema

The Coral Gables Cinema is a project of the Coral Gables Cinemateque, Inc, a non-profit film arts organization. Coral Gables Cinema offers American independent, foreign and classic films at HD quality sound and with stadium seating. The cinema’s diverse, multicultural and multilingual programs, including live performances and educational activities, have made it  a cultural hub for filmmakers, artists and the community.

The Coral Gables Cinema is now playing The Names of Love, a wonderful French romantic comedy on its first run in South Florida.


What are your thoughts on the Miami Film Scene?